Saturday, June 14, 2008

Thais often being cheated on by their partners (Thai or otherwise) and Thais often cheating on their partners (Thai or otherwise)

Just a few thoughts

1. Buddhism in Thailand is a hodge-podge overlaid onto traditional animism, with a healthy dose of Brahmin mysticism sprinkled on top. It is heavily associated with family rituals (birth, marriage, burial), and, yes, shamanism and superstition. As with many belief systems, the "pure" form of Buddhism is only a theory; what happens in practice can be quite different. Going to the temple to "sanctify" your relationship might be a big deal indeed for your guy.

2. Racism is alive and well in Thailand- guys who are "darker" are perceived (and perceive themselves, sadly) to be socially inferior. Quite often those of lighter hue are also, as a result, higher social class (and richer). *Certain* foreigners who have dated various Thais also feel that those of Chinese-Thai descent often have some snobbery-related personality problems. So there could be some explanation for a bias by gay foreigners in Thailand towards one or another group of whatever colour. Plus part of the interest and spark for many foreigners here is the difference- why go all the way around the world and date what turns out to be another Western-thinking white guy?

If I were more cynical, I might add that the "you're the first farang I've dated" is considerd one of the oldest lines in the book locally here.

3. Thais in general (but never specifically, I'm sure) are very, very, very, very jealous. I attribute this to:
a. Thais often being cheated on by their partners (Thai or otherwise),
b. Thais often cheating on their partners (Thai or otherwise), and
c. Thais being very emotional and sentimental with their partners.

I hasten to add that I'm sure no falang reader of this blog is in either category a. or b. with their Thai partner(s).

4. The submission you describe comes with obligation and a delayed price- there's no free lunch. It seems you are lucky enough to have a fairly self-sufficient young man, but if he should ever face ANY kinds of problems- consider yourself obligated and responsible (as a social superior with a relationship to an inferior would be in Thailand). Furthermore, this extends if necessary to the needs of his family, if your relationship continues long enough.

5. You should visit here not only once, but many, many times before you even consider moving here (especially for the sake of a Thai guy you've met outside). Ask lots of questions. Don't take everything on faith; ask for independent verification and evidence. Don't let him be the only source of information about his family and friends. If it involves any large sums of your money, make sure the paperwork is checked by a farang law firm working for you but familiar with Thai law. Make other Thai and local farang friends and get their perspective on your guy, too.

Just some thoughts